Built around the No. 14 shaft of Crown Mines, this city is an authentic reproduction of Johannesburg at the beginning of the 1900s. There are fully furnished miner's houses with original furniture and fittings, including pressed ceilings. The museum exhibits include antique clothing and children's toys, which take the visitor back 100 years to the city that was. A train encircles the park and many shops offer interesting curios. You can also visit the original gold mine in a lift that goes down to 220 meters below the surface. An on site casino is open 24 hours daily.
Featuring park-like surrounds, the Johannesburg Zoo offers a glimpse at over 3,000 animal species. Night-time tours are also offered, giving a fascinating show of the nocturnal behavior of many residents. ‘Behind-the-scenes' tours offer a chance to witness first-hand, the goings-on in a typical zoo such as the feeding and cleaning routines the public seldom see. Children's' birthday parties are hosted (book in advance) and a restaurant/tea garden is open during all normal visiting hours. An approximate time of four hours is required in order to view all the exhibits.
Probably the most frequented open-space area in the suburbs of Johannesburg, Zoo Lake has a restaurant, paddle-boat facilities as well as waterfowl in abundance. The restaurant is housed within buildings at the heart of the property and a bowling club lies to the right. Concerts are often hosted here and an annual, ‘Jazz at the Park' concert is becoming a recognized event. ‘Artists under the Sun' is a regular affair providing artists an opportunity to showcase their works by the lakeside. Weekends are always hectic and everyone and their dog seems to find some amusement there. No entrance fee. Dogs on leashes only. Plenty of parking.
This area of Johannesburg is filled with mixed themes and rife with history. A symbol of South Africa's journey to a deserved freedom, the Constitutional Court sits where the Old Fort Prison Complex used to house both political and common criminals -- names such as Robert Sobukwe, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were once trapped in these walls until its closure in 1983. This once oppressive site has been transformed into a monument of perseverance and justice. Guided and interactive tours are scheduled regularly.
What started out in 1994 as a small concert venue is now one of the most happening entertainment centers in Johannesburg, hosting many of South Africa's jazz legends. In 2003, Bassline was remodeled and renovated and now it can captivate nearly 1000 music fans with top-of-the-range acoustics. It has hosted over 3000 concerts of local and international music artists in the past. Apart from concerts, Bassline can also be rented for corporate functions and rehearsals. For complete details, call ahead or check the website.
An early Twentieth Century house takes your children back in time, to watch (mostly) kids' Classic plays. You can also see every room decorated with old sets, costumes and pictures both photographic and impressionistic. The National Children's Theater is run by an award-winning executive director. About 120 patrons can occupy the theater on floor-mats or chairs, the latter if you're over a certain age. Casts are sent out, too, if a theater loving school can't afford its own journey. This is sheer entertainment, as well as educational theater. There are also interactive theater workshops if your kid hankers after being either a professional walk-on or a Star. Call ahead for hours.